Old Trafford star must not change his ways.
The referee from England’s warm-up game has warned Wayne Rooney to “control his temper” or risk a red card in the World Cup, which starts on Friday.
Rooney was booked in Monday’s 3-0 win over Platinum Stars and match official Jeff Selogilwe claimed the striker insulted him with “vulgar language”.
Selogilwe said: “He must learn to control his temper. He could get sent off in the World Cup.”
Rooney, 24, apologised after the game and gave the referee his shirt.
Ahead of the match against Platinum Stars, England vice-captain Frank Lampard had warned his team-mates that discipline on the field will be a key factor if they are to be successful in the tournament.
He also rejected suggestions that Rooney, who was was sent off for stamping on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho at the last World Cup in 2006, might lose his cool again.
“Wayne has matured a lot as a player over the last few years as we all know, so I don’t see that one happening,” he stated.
“It is so important to have 11 men on the pitch because small details are so important and when you lose a player it can change anything.”
However, South African referee Selogilwe took a different view after Rooney came on for the second half in Monday’s warm-up match.
England’s World Cup campaign gets under way with a Group C match against the United States on Saturday and Selogilwe conceded he was disappointed with the Manchester United player’s attitude.
He added: “He is a good player when you see him on the TV but when you see him on the pitch, he just keeps on insulting the referees. (BBC Sport)
Whilst I am sure the referee may well have been offended by Wayne’s attitude he was probably also keen to make a name for himself because nothing that Rooney did on the field of play was any different to what you see in any game of football from the Sunday League to the top tier.
There is a danger of the Old Trafford ace being tarred with the wrong brush all over again. There is no doubting that the 24 year old has had his problems in the past. There was a time when he would be tackled and you could see the red mist build and then you could count down the seconds before he put in an unwise challenge, but that was years ago.
For the best part of two seasons he has been on his best behaviour. He has learned to channel his aggression and put it to good use. Now he uses it to motivate himself to win the ball back rather than scythe a player down.
Aggression is part and parcel of his game and you really can’t take that away from him, and nor would you want to. There is a danger that his reputation will count against him at the World Cup and when you see the kind of officials that England may well have to deal with, like THIS GUY, then you have to be a little worried.
Fabio Capello will have spoken to the Man United man after the game but would more than likely have told him to not rein in his temperament but merely to tell him to ignore the press and other disturbances that may well figure off the field of play.
Rooney is a battler and a player who means so much to England right now and whilst no wants to see the tigerish front man getting himself sent off and suspended they will also not want to curb that side of his game that is frankly as valuable as his ability to score at will.